T Nation

Stem Cell Research

I thought I’d bring this up, and try to get some debate going about it.

Why not? What’s with all the controversy?

You can grow pretty much any cell you want to. You could end up growing whole organs for people who desperately need them, and lessen or even eliminate the chance of rejection.

I see only religious groups attacking this, and it makes me sad that they can’t see past their own nose at such a lifesaving issue.

Brain damage
Cancer
Spinal cord injury
Heart damage
Haematopoiesis (blood cell formation)
Baldness
Missing teeth
Deafness
Vision impairment (including blindness)
ALS
Parkinson’s Disease

All could potentially be cured or made viable through stem cell treatments. And I’m sure there is so much more.

It saddens me to see such potential wasted because a few people got their religious panties in a twist. If you don’t believe in it, then don’t benefit from it. I don’t mind people not liking the idea, but telling others what to do, especially with regards to such a viable option, is where I draw the line.

Discuss?

What about a new bigger penis;-)

It’s science against religion. The epic battle continues.

The religious right fears the advancement of science and uses fear mongering to express it’s views on certain topics. Stem cell and cloning are on the top of the list. Using the dark side of mankind to illicit fear of the immoral acts that will arise because of such research.

Preventing research in countries that have the proper infrastructure and controls to allow save and moral research. Forcing those interested in this field of study to look to counties that have very relaxed laws when it comes to research at this level.

The research will happen. It’s all about when, how and under what circumstances. That line from Jurassic Park comes to mind “Life will find away, it always does”. Somethings can not be stopped. They can be stalled for long periods as the past has shown. In the end the quest for extended life will win.

I hope it’s within my lifetime. Imagine the breakthroughs we could be seeing from such advancement in modern medicine.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
I hope it’s within my lifetime. Imagine the breakthroughs we could be seeing from such advancement in modern medicine.[/quote]

X TEN!!

[quote]Makavali wrote:
I hope it’s within my lifetime. Imagine the breakthroughs we could be seeing from such advancement in modern medicine.[/quote]

Except that the venture capitalists are funding hardly any ESC research - it’s all ASCs, which have turned into profit. That should tell you something. VCs are very scientifically savvy, because they make their money by picking winning technologies and stealing them from their inventors. The only stem cells technologies that have worked are adults. You can work on ESCs with private money.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
Except that the venture capitalists are funding hardly any ESC research - it’s all ASCs, which have turned into profit. That should tell you something. VCs are very scientifically savvy, because they make their money by picking winning technologies and stealing them from their inventors. The only stem cells technologies that have worked are adults. You can work on ESCs with private money.[/quote]

That’s because ESC’s have been (wrongly) stigmatized. VC’s are scared of being the one outed has having funded ESC’s. This has nothing to do with “the winning technology”. Scaremongering has put people off the obvious choice. ESC’s are far more viable than ASC’s.

Particularly, the objection is to any creation of embryos for the purpose of research on their stem cells.

Generally, this is set of two short articles is one of the best arguments I’ve read debunking the idea that there’s not a good alterative:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDJiODg1NTRhODhlNTdkNDExYzdiZmMzNThjZjlhZDg=

[i]Selling Alternatives Short
Good news for humanity is bad news to some.

By Ramesh Ponnuru

You’d think it would be good news when scientists make a stem-cell breakthrough to which nobody objects. But for some people, it’s bad news that has to be spun away.

Yesterday, two analysts with the liberal Center for American Progress accused ( http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/01/alternative_cells.html ) the White House of “misrepresent[ing] the potential of discovering and using alternatives to embryonic stem cells.” Jonathan Moreno and Sam Berger may not be deliberately misrepresenting anything themselves, but they’re sure not presenting the truth either.

Their claim is that the White House is exaggerating the potential of types of stem-cell research that do not involve killing human embryos. But they make that case only by distorting both the administration’s record and the science. So, for example, Moreno and Berger say that a White House paper describes one method of deriving stem cells, the reprogramming of adult cells, as “promising.” They say that the paper cites only two studies on this point. They then note that James Battey had called this type of research “pie in the sky.”

In context, however, the White House paper ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/healthcare/stemcell_010907.pdf )is saying only that reprogramming is one of the most promising of the alternative approaches. Which is true. What isn’t true is the claim that the paper cites only two studies. The paper also cites a survey article that reviewed nine approaches to reprogramming. This field isn�??t fallow. Finally, Battey’s pie-in-the-sky comment referred only to the unlikelihood that reprogramming research would yield any cures in the near term. The embryo-killing research that Moreno and Berger favor is open to the same critique.

Moreno and Berger brush away this week’s news about stem cells found in amniotic fluid. They say that “scientists across the country,” including the researcher responsible for the paper about amniotic-fluid stem cells, have said that “these stem cells will not replace embryonic stem cells, and likely cannot differentiate into as many types of cells.” It’s true that the researcher has come out in favor of federal funding of embryonic-stem-cell research - a policy conclusion which he is perfectly entitled to reach. But he has also said that amniotic-fluid stem cells have produced every type of cell that they have tried to produce so far. In this respect, they�??re on par with embryonic stem cells. (We have only an informed conjecture that embryonic stem cells can produce any kind of cell.)

Again and again, this duo treats readers to double standards. Alternative approaches can be dismissed whenever promising findings haven’t been reproduced; but findings favorable to embryonic stem-cell research are taken to the bank, whether or not they�??re reproduced. The long-term potential for embryo-destructive research is emphasized; the failure of alternative approaches to produce immediate results is held against them. Data is cherry-picked to show that the absence of taxpayer funding for embryo-destructive research has hurt American competitiveness; contrary evidence is ignored ( http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTFlY2UzZmMyNjQzOGFiNzlhZDQyODcyZjNjMzQ5ODQ ).

One of the great fake bits of data in this debate �?? the “400,000 excess embryos stored in fertility clinics” �?? makes a return appearance. To repeat: We know that number from a study that also showed that fewer than three percent of those embryos would be available for research. That’s still a lot of embryos, obviously. But as a selling point for embryo-destructive research, it’s kind of mystifying. Is there a shortage of amniotic fluid? Of umbilical-cord blood? Of adult cells that can be reprogrammed?

American progress should be built on sturdier foundations than these.

http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=NDI4NmJhYzAwOWM4ZTE0NmU4YTNkMWIwNDU4MGFmMDM=

Selling Alternatives Short, Ctd.
The Center for American Progress digs itself a deeper hole.

By Ramesh Ponnuru

Last week, the liberal Center for American Progress ran an article ( http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/01/alternative_cells.html ) dismissing the prospects for getting pluripotent stem cells without killing human embryos, and trashing the White House to boot. I thought the article, by Jonathan Moreno and Sam Berger, got the story wrong, although I was careful not to attribute any intentional dishonesty to them. Two days ago, they came back at me with an almost entirely ad hominem response ( http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/01/semantics.html ).

They spend a fair amount of time hitting their readers over the head with the fact that I’m not a scientist. True enough. Neither are they, by the way: Moreno ( http://www.americanprogress.org/experts/MorenoJonathan.html ) is a professional bioethicist, and Berger’s expertise seems to consist of having founded a sketch-comedy group ( http://www.americanprogress.org/aboutus/staff/BergerSam.html ). Who cares? Either their arguments add up, or they don’t.

They don’t - and this time, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that they’re being devious.

In their statement last week, they claimed that “there is a ready supply of 400,000 excess embryos stored in fertility clinics around the country.” I pointed out that less than 3 percent of those “excess” embryos are potentially available for research. Their riposte is that 3 percent of 400,000 is 12,000, which is still a large number. That is correct. So why did they use the misleading larger number in the first place? If they actually read the study on which they�??re relying, by the way, they would learn that at most only 275 stem-cell lines could be created from the available embryos. That’s not much more than we have now, and these lines would add nothing in terms of genetic diversity or disease specificity.

There is also another point, which I made but they ignore: The existence of a “ready supply” of embryos is not a good argument for doing research on embryonic stem cells rather than amniotic-fluid stem cells, since there is a “ready supply” of amniotic fluid as well.

The rest of their comeback is of a piece. They neither deny nor acknowledge that they mischaracterized the White House’s paper on stem cells in exactly the ways I said they did.

They do at least try to dispute my characterization of comments by stem-cell scientist James Battey. They quoted Battey saying that non-embryonic sources of pluripotent stem cells were “pie in the sky” stuff; I noted that he was merely saying that we weren’t near clinical applications, just as we are not with embryonic stem cells. Moreno and Berger make a great show of quoting Battey at length �?? but they cut off his comments right at the point where he starts to prove my case. They have his quote ending with the line about one alternative approach being pie-in-the-sky. His next sentence concerns how this approach would lead to clinical treatments. Then: “Now, we are many, many years off, I think, from being able to do this clinically, but I find this is a very exciting area.”

In other words: What Battey was saying was that we’re a long way off from getting any clinical applications out of this alternative type of research - which is exactly what I said he said, rather than what CAP said he said.

The lead researcher in the amniotic-fluid-stem-cell paper, Dr. Anthony Atala, supports embryonic-stem-cell research. I said that his statement of support registered his “policy conclusion,” not any scientific finding. Moreno and Berger say I’m wrong. They quote the researcher: “Some may be interpreting my research as a substitute for the need to pursue other forms of regenerative medicine therapies, such as those involving embryonic stem cells. I disagree with that assertion.” Atala is simply saying that embryonic-stem-cell research should proceed, and not be stopped in favor of amniotic-fluid-stem-cell research. That’s a reasonable conclusion to reach about what our policy should be. But that’s what it is: a policy conclusion.

Let’s imagine that Atala had said something like the following: “It’s not clear that amniotic-fluid stem cells can differentiate into as many types of cells as embryonic stem cells. Therefore, my research is no substitute for embryonic-stem-cell research, which needs federal support.” That would be a scientific claim leading to a policy conclusion. Atala did not, however, make that claim - although Moreno and Berger falsely said that he had.

CAP’s statement last week was shoddy, and this week’s is slippery.


�?? Ramesh Ponnuru is an NR senior editor and author of The Party of Death.( http://www.nationalreview.com/redirect/amazon.p?j=1596980044 )[/i]

Another good piece by Ponnuru, with good political background information on the U.S. - of note: there’s no ban on embryonic stem-cell research in the U.S., as the debate revolves around government funding; and government funding of embryonic stem-cell research is allowed on a set number of existing stem-cell lines.

http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=ZGNiOGZjM2I2ZjI0MTBjNDFmZTAyNzM5ODcxNWZjMzU=

[i]Stem-Cell Hard Sell

By Ramesh Ponnuru

Editor’s Note: As the Senate debates federal funding for research that kills human embryos, supporters of that policy are invoking Ronald Reagan’s memory to bolster their case. In the July 12, 2004, issue of National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru explained how the advocates were distorting Reagan’s record-and also distorting the science and the state of public opinion.

Nancy Reagan believes that increased government funding for embryonic stem-cell research could keep other families from going through the trauma of Alzheimer�??s disease. To her credit, she has never said that her husband would have favored such funding, or suggested that Republicans have an obligation to support it in memory of him.

Not all advocates of the funding have been so restrained. Two days after Reagan’s death, William Safire was writing in the New York Times that increased funding would be the Gipper’s last victory. Sen. Orrin Hatch - who pledged during his last Republican primary campaign to oppose embryo research, but then broke his promise - said, “Maybe one of the small blessings that will come from [Reagan�??s] passing will be a greater opportunity for Nancy to work on this issue.” The Washington Post ran an editorial that week arguing against the memorials that some Reaganites want - Reagan on the dime, for instance. A more appropriate way to honor Reagan, according to the Post: increased funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

Newsweek published a Reagan memorial issue; its next issue included three pieces making the case for increased stem-cell funding. The first was a news article that played up the potential benefits of research for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. In the second, columnist Jonathan Alter speculated that Reagan would have favored it. And in the third, Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis wrote that the research could cure Alzheimer’s. She even wrote that promoting the research could be God’s redemptive purpose for her family�??s suffering.

Even before Reagan’s death, the debate over funding for embryonic stem-cell research was heating up. Letters were circulating on Capitol Hill demanding increased funding; eventually 58 senators and 206 members of the House signed them and sent them to President Bush. Liberals support increased funding, on the merits - but they also believe that the issue will hurt President Bush, and pro-lifers. Some Republicans, like Mrs. Reagan, join them in supporting the funding; many others are running scared. The national media want to make this summer a reprise of the summer of 2001, when they campaigned relentlessly for the funding (Newsweek ran a slanted cover story then, too), and tried to box in Bush.

A CAMPAIGN OF INACCURACY
The campaign for increased funding is trafficking heavily in inaccuracy. While the vast majority of the people involved in that campaign are no doubt sincere in their advocacy, they are distorting President Reagan’s record, exaggerating the likelihood that increased funding will lead to cures for
diseases, misrepresenting current policy, and citing bogus public-opinion research.

Nobody can say with confidence what Reagan would have done about this research if he were participating in today’s debate. Nor is that an especially fruitful question. Many of the news accounts after he died, however, made Reagan seem less conservative than he was. We were often told that as governor he had signed a bill that liberalized abortion law. It made abortion legal in cases of rape, incest, and threats to mothers’ lives and health. What we were not often told is that Reagan regretted signing that law once he discovered how liberally the “health” exception was interpreted. Reagan also went on to write a book against abortion - a fairly remarkable act for a sitting president. He proclaimed a national “sanctity of life” day declaring “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death.” Most to the point, he blocked federal funding of research on human embryos.

We also know that the president and his wife did not see eye to eye on these issues. Reagan’s chief of staff Donald Regan recounts in his memoirs that Mrs. Reagan called him to ask that anti-abortion comments be removed from a State of the Union address. Regan said that the president had especially wanted to speak about abortion. The First Lady responded, “I don’t give a damn about the right-to-lifers.”

The pro-funding lobby gives as one-sided a picture of the potential health benefits of the research as it does of Reagan’s views. In their letters to President Bush, the 264 pro-funding congressmen write, “As you know, embryonic stem cells have the potential to be used to treat and better understand deadly and disabling diseases and conditions that affect more than 100 million Americans, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and many others.” The claim is worded vaguely enough so that it is not exactly false: You couldn’t prove that the research has no “potential” to improve our understanding of the common cold. Under the influence of the pro-funding lobby, relatives of ailing people now believe even stronger claims. Patti Davis’s Newsweek article called stem-cell research “the miracle that can cure not only Alzheimer’s but many other diseases and afflictions.”

But Rick Weiss reported in the Washington Post that, “of all the diseases that may someday be cured by embryonic stem cell treatments, Alzheimer’s is among the least likely to benefit.” (Embarrassingly for the Post, it ran its editorial arguing that increased funding could lead to Alzheimer’s treatments on the same day it ran the Weiss story.) Cancer and heart disease are pretty far down the list, too, although they’re useful in generating the figure of “more than 100 million Americans.” Whether embryonic stem-cell research has more promise than research on stem cells taken from adults or umbilical-cord blood is a subject of fierce dispute. Most scientists seem to favor the embryonic research, or research on cloned embryos. But even the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which strongly backs funding for that research, puts more of its own money into adult stem-cell research.

False claims about the current policy are everywhere. In the 1990s, Congress banned funding for research that would destroy human embryos. The Clinton administration decided that this ban meant that the federal government could not pay for the destruction of embryos, but could pay for research on stem cells once they were taken from the embryos. It was in the process of issuing regulations to that effect when Bush took over.

Bush didn’t want to encourage the destruction of embryos by declaring the government’s willingness to fund all such research. Instead, on August 9, 2001, he announced that he would fund research only on stem cells that had been taken from embryos before that date. That meant, he said, that around 60 existing stem-cell lines would be eligible for funding, but no future lines would be. The government would promote research, but would not cooperate in a moral wrong. Nor would it ask taxpayers who object to the destruction of embryos to subsidize it. The federal government would not, however, ban any privately financed research.

The president’s critics say his numbers have proven wrong: Only 19 subsidized lines are available to researchers. Wittingly or not, the critics are conflating eligibility and availability. The lines that were eligible for funding were not immediately available. Legal rights had to be parceled out, and the lines had to be developed. These processes took time, and not because of Bush’s funding restrictions. But the number of available lines has been increasing, and will continue to increase - possibly to as many as 55. The congressmen claim that if Bush�??s policy were liberalized, research could be done on 400,000 embryos currently frozen at IVF clinics. But the study from which that estimate comes notes that most of those embryos have been stored for future reproductive use. The study indicates that at most 275 additional lines could be generated from these embryos.

It is certainly true that if the president’s goal were to maximize embryonic stem-cell research, to the exclusion of other concerns, he would adopt a more liberal policy. The director of the National Institutes of Health has said as much, in a statement that pro-funding polemicists have treated as a devastating admission. But it is also true that no researcher has complained that the current policy is impeding him; the complaints have been more along the lines that the policy is keeping people from going into the field.

Funding proponents have sometimes been willing to imply that Bush has prohibited embryo research rather than limited government funding for it. Patti Davis wrote in her Newsweek op-ed that her mother had “emerged as a central figure in the effort to get the federal government out of the way.” That is becoming a talking point of the campaign, and it is deeply misleading: The effort is to get the federal government to pay, not get out of the way.

UNINFORMED CONSENT
Finally, proponents of funding are making false claims about public opinion. A pro-funding organization commissioned a poll by Democrat Peter Hart that got a lot of attention. It purported to show that Americans strongly supported funding, and that the more informed voters were, the more likely they were to support it. But the poll was, at best, extremely sloppy. It found that voters were more likely to support the funding when they were “informed” that the research “offers the best hope we have today for curing such diseases as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, which today cause pain and suffering to more than 100 million Americans.” They were also “informed” that "highly respected�?? groups favor the research, including “the National Institutes of Health.” The “highly respected” label stacks the deck, and in truth the NIH �?? a division of the Bush administration �?? does not support liberalized funding. The poll also counted voters as supporting funding the research when they may have merely supported allowing it. Unbiased polls find that most people do not know much about the issue and are open to appeals from both sides. Gallup found that 54 percent of the public favored the research, but that poll didn�??t ask about taxpayer funding.

There’s no question that President Bush and his allies have a hard job. Opposing the demands of people with terrible illnesses, however much lobbying groups have misled those people, is very hard. Nobody wants to be, or to appear, indifferent to human suffering. Parts of the Republican coalition support the research. Many libertarians, for example, seem to have tacitly decided that they dislike pro-lifers more than they dislike government subsidies. A few pro-life congressmen have decided that it is better to kill embryos in a good cause than to let them stay in deep freeze.

The administration, which includes many people who are not personally committed to the president’s policy, has not been vigorous in defending it. “They seem to hope the issue will go away,” says one close observer. Bush did a reasonably good job in laying out the case for his position in a televised prime-time address when he announced it. But he has not returned to the issue. Perhaps he should press the argument about using government funds in ways many taxpayers oppose. That argument has served conservatives well in the abortion-funding debate.

In the longer run, pro-lifers need to go on offense. They could push Congress to ban research - public or private - on embryos that are more than two weeks old. That could become a consensus position: Bush’s commission on bioethics, though bitterly divided on embryo research and cloning, unanimously endorsed the idea. Pro-life organizations have balked, however, worrying that the idea would lend tacit support to research during those first two weeks. But at least the proposal would make us debate how much protection to give embryos. Right now, we are debating how much to subsidize their destruction: how much ground, that is, we should lose this year.[/i]

Not this phony debate again. Stem cell research is going strong and is funded by the US government and others.

The only restriction is creation of new embryonic stem cell lines are not funded by the US government. Existing lines are funded. New lines from other sources are funded.

Why do we even need new embryonic lines? The only argument I have heard is that the existing lines are contaminated with mouse DNA. Of course any new lines would also need to be immediately contaminated because that is the way they are kept alive.

The fact that this is a hot button issue for so many indicates that they have been manipulated by the media and certain politicians (and scientists looking for $$$)

There is money interests that are threatened by stem cell research. Imagine the damage to large corporations if retirees on company pension plans were no longer dropping dead from old age. Also think about the damage to the insurance industry, what would be the point in buying life insurance if death became a lot less common.

The religious nuts are just tools who have a wet dream that they will overturn Roe v Wade. They figure that if they can elevate the status of a cell to that of a living breathing human being they can undermine abortion rights.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
There is money interests that are threatened by stem cell research. Imagine the damage to large corporations if retirees on company pension plans were no longer dropping dead from old age. Also think about the damage to the insurance industry, what would be the point in buying life insurance if death became a lot less common.

The religious nuts are just tools who have a wet dream that they will overturn Roe v Wade. They figure that if they can elevate the status of a cell to that of a living breathing human being they can undermine abortion rights.

[/quote]

I’m pretty sure it’s more the creation and then destruction of fertilized human embryos for research purposes that gives people an ethical pause…

The principle the importance of a human life - or a potential human life - is the same, but otherwise I don’t think there’s a hidden agenda operating.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

I’m pretty sure it’s more the creation and then destruction of fertilized human embryos for research purposes that gives people an ethical pause…

The principle the importance of a human life - or a potential human life - is the same, but otherwise I don’t think there’s a hidden agenda operating.[/quote]

Yep. Sorry, I don’t think curing diseases should come at the expense of becoming a society comfortable with creating and farming human life. Soylent Green!

The agenda isn’t hidden it’s quite obvious. If they can get one cell classified as a human being they then have a weapon to throw at abortion.

These people who have an ethical pause about a clump of cells in a petry dish don’t have a similar pause about a living, breathing, human being, who has self awareness dying.

It is not ethics that says throwing unused embryos in a fire instead of using them to save lives is the best course of action. It is religious fanaticism.

The potential human life arguement goes too far. What will happen if we figure out how to turn any cell into full human beings? If someone skins a knee will they be subject to arrest for destroying potential human life? Or what about the cells that are lost when we take a shit? In the future will we be guilty of destroying potential human life just by having a bodily function? How absurd of a level is this going to get taken to?

In the future will the potential human life arguement be used to make the biblical injunction against spilling our seed on the ground into law? When does potential human life reach a limit?

What about the ethics of forcing people to die for the sake of religious dogma that they may not agree with?

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The agenda isn’t hidden it’s quite obvious. If they can get one cell classified as a human being they then have a weapon to throw at abortion.

These people who have an ethical pause about a clump of cells in a petry dish don’t have a similar pause about a living, breathing, human being, who has self awareness dying. [/quote]

Ah, but they do.

The question is a false one. Unless you are telling me that if you kill the one, the other will surely survive?

[quote]Sifu wrote:
It is not ethics that says throwing unused embryos in a fire instead of using them to save lives is the best course of action. It is religious fanaticism. [/quote]

People are worried about incentivizing the creation of human embryos for research and/or cell harvesting.

Also, to the extent one would agree for experiments on dead embryos - like dead people - ethically there would need to be consent. I believe that with dead babies the parents can consent - seems like that would be the same concept. But who would consent for a string of embryos produced in a lab for cell harvesting? It’s the purpose that just makes my stomach a bit queasy…

[quote]Sifu wrote:

The potential human life arguement goes too far. What will happen if we figure out how to turn any cell into full human beings? If someone skins a knee will they be subject to arrest for destroying potential human life? Or what about the cells that are lost when we take a shit? In the future will we be guilty of destroying potential human life just by having a bodily function? How absurd of a level is this going to get taken to?

In the future will the potential human life arguement be used to make the biblical injunction against spilling our seed on the ground into law? When does potential human life reach a limit?

What about the ethics of forcing people to die for the sake of religious dogma that they may not agree with?
[/quote]

Kind of a paranoid slippery slope, given it seems easily differentiable. On the one hand, you have an embryo that, if left to itself in the normal course of nature would develop into an adult human. On the other, you have the rest of your examples, which would not.

And again, are you trying to tell me that if you kill a certain embryo, a certain person will live? That would be an ethical dilemma of a different sort, as that’s not really the situation here is it?

I am against embryonic stem cell research. The rest I am for.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
Except that the venture capitalists are funding hardly any ESC research - it’s all ASCs, which have turned into profit. That should tell you something. VCs are very scientifically savvy, because they make their money by picking winning technologies and stealing them from their inventors. The only stem cells technologies that have worked are adults. You can work on ESCs with private money.

That’s because ESC’s have been (wrongly) stigmatized. VC’s are scared of being the one outed has having funded ESC’s. This has nothing to do with “the winning technology”. Scaremongering has put people off the obvious choice. ESC’s are far more viable than ASC’s.[/quote]

VCs have no morals. None. The issue with ESCs is that nothing has come of them like ASCs. You can get private money and do all of the ESC research you want. A lot of people in the scientific community just want public money so they can stay funded and not have to produce any results, because the government never asks for any. VCs (vulture capitialists) want results and they want winning technologies to provide a return on their investment.

Michael Fumento has written a lot about this:
http://www.google.com/search?q="stem+cell"+site%3Afumento.com&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

I’d encourage you to examine our side of the argument.

The issue is over sanctity of life, and I think its murder to carve up an embryo and it’s a slippery slope towards other things, just like it’s murder to abort a baby.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
BostonBarrister wrote:

I’m pretty sure it’s more the creation and then destruction of fertilized human embryos for research purposes that gives people an ethical pause…

The principle the importance of a human life - or a potential human life - is the same, but otherwise I don’t think there’s a hidden agenda operating.

Yep. Sorry, I don’t think curing diseases should come at the expense of becoming a society comfortable with creating and farming human life. Soylent Green![/quote]

Hey,hey…easy on the Soylent Green hate,ok?

Nothing wrong with eating properly processed dead people!

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Sifu wrote:
The agenda isn’t hidden it’s quite obvious. If they can get one cell classified as a human being they then have a weapon to throw at abortion.

These people who have an ethical pause about a clump of cells in a petry dish don’t have a similar pause about a living, breathing, human being, who has self awareness dying.

Ah, but they do.
[/quote]

Something that doesn’t have a central nervous system is not self aware.

That’s a spurious arguement and you know it. This technology has tremendous potential to save lives. Stem cells are already being used to save lives and heal the sick. The first clinical study on an organ grown from stem cells has already been successfully completed.

It is not a matter of kill one for one to live. It is a matter of do the research and millions can be saved.

If that truly is the case then there should be no objection to using embryos from fertility clinics that are going to be incinerated. Those embryos could be used to do research that will revolutionize medicine but instead they are wasted in an incinerator.

Come on now BB you are a smart guy, don’t you read up on the research? Dead cells are not going to be of any use, because they are dead. Once you have the stem cells you don’t need to keep growing them into embryos either.

[quote]

Sifu wrote:

The potential human life arguement goes too far. What will happen if we figure out how to turn any cell into full human beings? If someone skins a knee will they be subject to arrest for destroying potential human life? Or what about the cells that are lost when we take a shit? In the future will we be guilty of destroying potential human life just by having a bodily function? How absurd of a level is this going to get taken to?

In the future will the potential human life arguement be used to make the biblical injunction against spilling our seed on the ground into law? When does potential human life reach a limit?

What about the ethics of forcing people to die for the sake of religious dogma that they may not agree with?

Kind of a paranoid slippery slope, given it seems easily differentiable. On the one hand, you have an embryo that, if left to itself in the normal course of nature would develop into an adult human. On the other, you have the rest of your examples, which would not. [/quote]

Now you know that’s not true. Without a womb to implant in no embryo can live and grow into anything. The natural course of nature is, if left alone in a petry dish without support the cells die.

[quote]
And again, are you trying to tell me that if you kill a certain embryo, a certain person will live? [/quote]

No I am not. If you kill the cells they are of no use.

[quote]
That would be an ethical dilemma of a different sort, as that’s not really the situation here is it?[/quote]

Are you trying to say that killing the cells in a furnace is ethical, but keeping them alive to save lives is not?

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
VCs have no morals. None.[/quote]

Oh dear. I never said anything about their morals. Most of them care about public opinion of them.